Cuisine of Wales

Welsh cuisine is the specific set of cooking traditions and practices associated with the country of Wales. It has influenced, and been influenced by, other British cuisine. Beef and dairy cattle are raised widely. Sheep farming is extensive in the country and lamb is the meat traditionally associated with Welsh cooking, particularly in dishes such as roast lamb with fresh mint sauce. Welsh cooking often includes seafood, especially close to the coast, where fishing culture is strong and fisheries are common. This is exemplified by the use of cockles and laverbread in Welsh cuisine. The vegetable leek, because of its role as the country's national vegetable, is also used frequently in Welsh cuisine.

Welsh dishes

  • Tatws Pum Munud (English: five minute potatoes), a traditional Welsh stew, made with potatoes, vegetables and bacon, and cooked on top of the stove.
  • Tatws Popty (English: oven potatoes), a traditional Welsh stew, made with potatoes, vegetables and a joint of meat, and cooked in an oven.
  • Teisennau Tatws (English: Potato Cakes), is a potato dish, served as an accompaniment — not a main dish in its own right.
  • Welsh rarebit or Welsh rabbit, although now synonymous with Wales, the origins of this dish are unclear and the name may actually be an ironic English reference to Welsh cuisine. The Welsh term for this dish is caws pobi, meaning baked cheese.
  • Bara brith, "speckled bread", is a sweet bread which originated in Wales. It is traditionally made with raisins, Zante currant, and candied peel.
  • Cawl is a Welsh stew with lamb and leeks.
  • Roast lamb with laver sauce or with plum sauce.
  • Shepherd's pie, a type of lamb meat pie made with mashed potatoes, is often associated with Wales.
  • Cockles are very popular in Wales and served in a variety of ways although usually steamed.
  • Crempogau are Welsh buttermilk pancakes.
  • Faggots are Welsh meatballs made from lamb or pig's liver, onions and a cereal binder.
  • Glamorgan sausage (Welsh: Selsig Morgannwg) is cheese, eggs and breadcrumbs in the shape of a sausage.
  • Laverbread, or Bara Lawr in Welsh, is a Welsh seaweed delicacy. The laver is mixed with oatmeal, which is formed into patties and usually fried in bacon fat.
  • Welsh cakes also known as bakestones (Welsh: picau ar y maen, picau bach, cacenni cri or teisennau gradell) are small cakes cooked on a bakestone.
  • Leek soup (Welsh: Cawl Cennin or Cawl Mamgu ("Granny's stew")).
  • Lobscows is a popular stew in Holyhead and Anglesey.
  • Monkfish, often served with laver, common on the coast.


Cheese has long been a traditional food of Wales, with Welsh Rarebit being a popular national dish by Tudor times, though known then as caws pobi.[1] The best known Welsh cheese is Caerphilly, though many other types exist, including Y Fenni, Tintern and Pantysgawn. Popular brands include Black Bomber made by the Snowdonia Cheese Company and Collier's Powerful Welsh Cheddar.


Beer is the national drink of Wales.[2] There are a number of Welsh beers and more than 20 vineyards in the country. Most of the vineyards have been started since the 1970s. By contrast, S A Brain and Felinfoel breweries have existed since the late 19th century, based on breweries which were yet older. Bragawd, or Braggot, made by blending mead with ale, or brewing ale using honey is an old tradition in Wales.


Main article: Beer in Wales

References to intoxicating preparations of grain and herbs appear in several works by the 6th century Welsh poet Taliesin, particularly the Hanes Taliesin. This preparation, Gwîn a Bragawd, is said to have brought "science, inspiration and immortality".[3] While King Ine of Wessex, who ruled during the late 7th century, declared that food rent for ten hides of land should include "twelve ambers of Welsh ale" (bragawd).[2] Bragawd, also called braggot, is somewhat between mead and what we today think of as ale.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 852 records a distinction between "fine ale" and Welsh ale.[4]

Welsh beer is noted as a distinct style as late as 1854, with a recipe made solely from pale malt and hops described in a recipe book of the time.[5]

Wrexham was one of the first places in the UK to brew lager.[6] Homesick German immigrant brothers from Saxony started the process in 1882. While Welsh local historian Deiniol ap Dafydd claims Arthur Guinness used a Welsh recipe, from Llanfairfechan, near Bangor for his stout[7]


Main article: Welsh whisky

Unlike Ireland and Scotland, Wales does not have a long tradition of distilling, with only small cottage industries appearing over the last two centuries. Whisky manufacture ceased in Wales in 1910.[8]

In 1998 the Welsh Whisky Company, now known as Penderyn, was formed and whisky production began at Penderyn, Rhondda Cynon Taf in 2000. Penderyn single malt whisky was the first whisky commercially produced in Wales for a century and went on sale in 2004.[9] The company also produces Merlyn Welsh Cream Liqueur.


List of brands of Welsh bottled water (spring and mineral)


  • Typhoo produce a tea called Glengettie, which is specifically aimed at the Welsh market. The packaging is printed in both Welsh and English.
  • Murroughs Welsh Brew (Paned Gymreig) tea, also sold in bilingual packaging, is packed and blended for Wales by Adwell Foods, of Langland, on the Gower Peninsula.[10]
  • Gaiman, in Patagonia, Argentina, is famous for its Welsh tea houses, run by the descendants of Welsh immigrants.[11]


List of Welsh vineyards

Soft drinks

Corona was a carbonated soft drink manufacturer set up in 1897 in the Rhondda, and acquired by Britvic in the 1980s. The company has since been dissolved. Lurvills Delight was a carbonated soft drink popular in Wales between 1896 and 1910.

Tovali was established in 1937, the name deriving from the Towy Valley in rural West Wales, where the town of Carmarthen is situated. In addition to its own brand of soft drinks and fruit drinks, it also manufactures and bottles 'Own Label' carbonated and dilutable drinks for a number of major national companies.

Miscellaneous foods

Breakfast is traditionally an important meal in Wales. A hearty breakfast of eggs and cockles fried with bacon and sausage, served with laverbread, is known as a "traditional" Welsh breakfast.

See also



External links

  • Welsh Assembly.
  • Welsh Food
  • Culture UK Welsh Food
  • Article on Welsh food in Spectator Scoff

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